Top 5 Taco Bell Competitors In 2023

Taco Bell is an American fast food chain of restaurants that are famous for their mexican and Tex-Mex foods. The American company offers foods like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and more. As of 2019, Taco Bell generated almost US$2 billion in total revenue sales. The Mexican inspired company was founded in 1962, nearly sixty years ago, by founder Glen Bell who started by selling hot dogs in a local Drive-in. Taco Bell operates over 7,000 restaurants and locations around the world, making it one of the world’s bigger fast food chains.

HEADQUARTERSIrvine, California, U.S.
INDUSTRY SECTORFast Food Restaurant

Taco Bell similar companies:

Chipotle, Graze, Wendy’s, Freshly, Taco John’s, Taco Cabana, Del Taco, and Moe’s Southwest Grill.

How the company makes money

The American company is one of the most well-known shoe brands in the industry, especially in the grunge and edgy culture. Taco Bell has always been related to skateboarding ever since punk and pop punk became a thing. With so many loyal customers and consumers, Taco Bell not only has a very large fanbase of regular buyers but an entire culture that is predominantly owned by Taco Bell. Their brand title is a reputable staple of certain cultures and that has made the company more successful.

Fast Food

With the everyday rush of going to school, work, and going home, preparing your own meals at home or eating at a reputable restaurant can be time-consuming and costly. Fast food chains are a solution to everyday rush hours. The fast food industry comprises of over 200,000 fast food restaurants in the United States alone, with an estimated 50 million Americans eating in one every single day.

Taco Bell is a Mexican themed restaurant that is adored by many, primarily Americans, because of the rich flavors from the Mexican palette and culture. Mexican foods are full of spices and aromatic seasonings and the combination of each recipe is one that is loved by Americans.


Chipotle is an American company that specializes in smoke-dried ripe jalapeno chili peppers for their main ingredient. The American company serves hot Mexican cuisine as well as Southwestern dishes. Chipotle has over 2,600 locations all over the world, with most of them being in the United States and the United Kingdom.

As of 2019, the fast food company generated over US$5.5 billion in total revenue. Founded by Steve Ells in Denver, Colorado back in 1993, Chipotle is one of the more recent fast food chains in the industry. Since then, the American company has expanded and has over 60,000 loyal employees.

Ahead of the competition by over US$3 billion in total revenue, Chipotle sells more than Taco Bell despite having significantly fewer locations than Taco Bell. Chipotle is extremely popular because of the quality of their products as well as the simplicity of their menu. While Taco Bell may have more locations and employees, they’re gonna have to adapt to what Chipotle is doing to catch up.

Taco John’s

John Turner first founded Taco John’s as Taco House, which after being sold to James Woodson and Harold W. Holmes in 1969 was rebranded into the Taco John’s we know and love today. With over 400 restaurants, the Mexican-inspired fast food company is one of the increasing fast food chains in America.

Taco John’s has locations around 30 states all around America and is one of the country’s more authentic fast food chains. The American company continually strives to be an authentic Mexican experience and is known for their diverse and delicious menu. Being such a flavorful place to eat, Taco John’s mainly operate most of their stores in the Midwest.

What completely separates the two competitors is the sheer size of their operations. Taco Bell has almost twenty times more locations than Taco John’s and outperforms the Mexican-cuisine rival by a lot. However Taco John’s can only go up from here, and with more publicity about their delicious menu, who knows how long until they catch up.

Taco Cabana

Taco Cabana is an American fast casual restaurant chain that specializes in Mexican food. The Mexican-inspired restaurant was founded in 1978 by Felix Stehling in San Antonio, America. Starting out as a taco stand for a popular bar across the street, the customers appreciated the readily available fresh and hot taco’s while being out in the air.

Fast casual restaurants are restaurants that don’t offer full table services, but still sell fresh high-quality food that can compete against processed fast food restaurants. Usually these are situated as trucks, but Taco Cabana also operates with real estate locations with over 160 locations around the United States.

Mexican food is often eaten in wraps, like tacos and tortillas. This makes Mexican food amazing on-hand products just like sandwiches or hamburgers. Although Taco Bell has more locations and is bigger in size, Taco Cabana makes up for it by being flexible with their trucks and thrifty with their real estate investments.

Del Taco

Del Taco Restaurants Incorporated, or better known as Del Taco, is another American fast food restaurant chain. The American company offers American-style Mexican cuisine and at the same time has a diverse enough menu to include burgers, fries, and shakes. Ed Hackbarth and David Jameson founded Del Taco in 1964 as Casa Del Taco.

In just as much as 15 years Del Taco had more than 350 restaurants around America, primarily in California, in 1981. Now the company operates approximately 600 locations with most of them in the West and Southern hemisphere of the United States. Del Taco has a workforce of over 7,000 employees as of 2019.

One of the things that makes Del Taco one of the greatest Mexican-inspired restaurants is their traditional food. The quality of their food is praised by many all around the internet. However even with having such a reputation, Del Taco lacks the resources to scale as much as Taco Bell. Taco Bell is accessible by more Americans, making it outperform its competitor.

Moe’s Southwest Grill

Moe’s Southwest Grill is an American fast casual restaurant that was founded in the year 2000, making it the youngest company on this list. The American company is most commonly referred to as Moe’s and offers burritos, nachos, tacos, quesadillas, and other types of Mexican food. Moe’s currently employs over 2,500 employees as of 2019.

The American company has over 700 locations around the United States and being a franchise helps them continually expand. Franchising is when other people can own a retail location of a company that offers that company’s products. Because of this, Moe’s has been able to expand a lot throughout the country.

The bad side about franchising however is that it makes the ownership of each restaurant different per owner, which can create inconsistency in the quality of products. Moe’s is still hailed as delicious by most consumers. Taco Bell on the other hand, while also being a franchise, can stay consistent because of their experience with dealing with franchises.


The top 5 Taco Bell direct competitors are: Chipotle, Taco John’s, Taco Cabana, Del Taco, and Moe’s Southwest Grill. Together these companies employ 72 thousand people worldwide, with Taco Bell employing over 210,000 thousand people and ranked 2nd among Taco Bell’s Top 5 competitors in total revenue. The top 5 competitors average about 14 thousand employees. 


Chipotle1993Newport Beach, California, United States60,000
Taco John’s1969Cheyenne, Wyoming, United States2,000
Taco Cabana1978San Antonio, Texas, United States500
Del Taco1964Lake Forest, California, United States7,000
Moe’s Southwest Grill2000Atlanta, Georgia, United States2,500

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